SEER Training Modules

The Biopsy Report

The term biopsy (Bx) refers to the removal and examination, gross and microscopic, of tissue or cells from the living body for the purpose of diagnosis. A variety of techniques exist for performing a biopsy of which the most common ones are:

  • Aspiration biopsy or bone marrow aspiration: Biopsy of material (fluid, cells or tissue) obtained by suction through a needle attached to a syringe.
  • Bone marrow biopsy: Examination of a piece of bone marrow by needle aspiration; can also be done as an open biopsy using a trephine (removing a circular disc of bone).
  • Curettage: Removal of growths or other material by scraping with a curette.
  • Excisional biopsy (total): The removal of a growth in its entirety by having a therapeutic as well as diagnostic purpose.
  • Incisional biopsy: Incomplete removal of a growth for the purpose of diagnostic study.
  • Needle biopsy: Same as aspiration biopsy.
  • Percutaneous biopsy: A needle biopsy with the needle going through the skin.
  • Punch biopsy: Biopsy of material obtained from the body tissue by a punch technique.
  • Sponge (gel foam) biopsy: Removal of materials (cells, particles of tissue, and tissue juices) by rubbing a sponge over a lesion or over a mucous membrane for examination.
  • Surface biopsy: Scraping of cells from surface epithelium, especially from the cervix, for microscopic examination.
  • Surgical biopsy: Removal of tissue from the body by surgical excision for examination. Total biopsy: See excisional biopsy.

Note: Any biopsy can be processed quickly by a frozen section technique or by routine fixation (permanent section) by H and E (Hematoxylin and Eosin) stain which usually takes 48 hours to prepare.

Click here to access an example of a biopsy report (Biopsy Example). Abstract what you think is pertinent, and then compare with the suggested abstraction.